Tours of the Chateau
Tour Hours, Map and Places Nearby
Emilie du Chatelet
A Love Story
Voltaire and Emilie
The Little Theater at Cirey
Restoration of the Chateau
Poetry Tribute to Voltaire
The Soldier's Room - to be restored
The Chateau de Cirey is the private residence of the Count and Countess Hugues de Salignac Fénelon. The owners of the chateau graciously offer tours of this historic chateau to the general public.
Rooms that you see during the tour look very much as they did 250 years ago because experts on 18th century furnishings and buildings are consulted when restoration work is performed.
Theater Experts Visit Cirey
In 1998, experts on the French theater were asked to estimate the cost to renovate the Little Theater in the attic. Paint on the walls was chipped and faded, and the room was sadly in need of repair.
What was the estimate? The price greatly exceeded what was expected. Restoring the Little Theater would have to be a future project.
It was the theater experts who suggested that a foundation be established for the purpose of restoring the Little Theater and other rooms in the chateau. This was an excellent suggestion and the Renaissance du Château de Cirey, a not-for-profit foundation, was formed. Shortly thereafter, restoration work began on the Little Theater when the first contribution was received.
Restoration of the Little Theater was completed during the summer of 1999. Today the theater looks exactly as it appeared in the 18th century when Voltaire, Emilie, and their guests dressed in costumes and acted in Voltaire's plays. The Little Theater page on this site shows examples of the work that was done on the theater.
Marquise du Chatelet's Room
Restoration of Emilie's bedroom was completed in 2002 and is now included in the tour of the chateau. We know what Emilie's room looked like because Madame de Graffigny, a visitor to the chateau, wrote to her friends and described this room. She stated that the room was exquisite, done in yellow and blue with lovely mirrors. Everything matched, even the basket for Emilie's dog was the same blue as the bed covering.
Visitors to the chateau will enjoy seeing Emilie's room, as the restoration closely followed the description provided by Emilie's house guest.
Renaissance du Château de Cirey
Future restoration projects include:
The Soldier's Room
The Soldier's Room (shown in the photo above) is part of the old wing that was built in 1634. There were many wars in the 1600's and 1700's and soldiers were often housed at the chateau. They slept in this room and ate their meals before the large fireplace.
When Voltaire lived at the chateau, pigs, geese, ducks, chickens and other animals were raised in the barnyard next to the carriage house. Restoration is planned for the structures that housed the smaller animals. The Foundation plans to set up the barnyard just as it looked in the 18th century.
How to Participate in the Restoration of Voltaire's Residence
Organizations and individuals who wish to make a contribution to the restoration project may contact:
Renaissance du Château de Cirey
Contact: Adelaïde Bataillon Debes
Chateau de Cirey
Tel/Fax: +33 1 45 75 53 04.
Château de Cirey
Copyright 2001 Jane M. Birkenstock
Last Updated: March 30, 2007